Fee Brothers’ Cherry Bitters

Fee Brothers’ History:

In 1864, James Fee opened a grocery and liquor store in Rochester, NY to help support his large, close-knit family. His brothers helped him grow the store into a successful winery and wine import business. In 1883 the name was changed from James Fee & Company to Fee Brothers.

Surviving Prohibition: 

When prohibition began in 1920, Fee Brothers kept themselves afloat by making altar wine & distributing wine-making supplies. They even consulted with homeowners to legally make their own wine at home. It was legal to make a small amount of wine for personal use, but making and selling stronger spirits was strictly forbidden.

That didn’t stop people from trying though, and poor quality alcohol flooded the market. Most of the people making this black market booze had no clue what they were doing. For that reason, most of the alcohol being sold in saloons and speakeasies tasted terrible. Fee Brothers saw this as an opportunity and developed a line of cordial syrups and drink flavorings. They designed them to make inferior spirits taste like the real thing. Benedictine, Chartreuse, Brandy, and Rum flavorings were among their most popular products.

Cocktail Bitters:

When prohibition ended in 1933, Fee Brothers started selling liquor again. They kept making their cordial syrups though, and they remained very popular. Therefore, they soon decided to focus on mixers, syrups, and flavorings instead. By 1950 they were on a never-ending quest to develop new products and their flavored cocktail bitters line really became a focus. Fee Brothers’ product list now boasts almost 100 drink mix products. Today they’re best know for their huge selection of flavored cocktail bitters.

Cherry Bitters:

Fee Brothers’ Cherry bitters have a bright sweet cherry flavor with a subtle bitterness, floral notes, and a hint of candy on the nose. They’re wonderful in fruity, summery cocktails and are also an excellent addition to whiskey cocktails like old fashioned or manhattans, especially for those who love their maraschino cherries. They’re also perfect for fixing a Valentine’s Day cocktail for your sweetheart. Please watch the video below for another idea of how to put Fee’s Cherry bitters to use in your home bar.

The Orchard

2 oz Applejack or Apple Brandy
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Grenadine
4 dashes cherry bitters
Soda water

Combine applejack, chartreuse, grenadine, & cherry bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add plenty of ice and shake together until frothy. Strain into a cocktail glass and top off with soda water.

Enjoy!

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